Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Labour MPs are voicing their dismay over poor ministerial behaviour (Smith and Hain).

It seems that each day more and more Labour MPs are making statements to the media that are not at all supportive of their ministers. Over the last couple of days their comments have been aimed at Jacqui Smith and Peter Hain. Keith Vaz, Labour chair of the home affairs committee, Lindsay Hoyle and Andrew Mackinlay have all made it very clear that the police pay award could have been handled better. Keith Vaz believes that the police pay award is of such importance that it should be voted on in parliament. Lindsay Hoyle has called the two stage pay deal "unacceptable and unpalatable", and Andrew Mackinlay believes the deal would not only cause "disproportionate offence to public servants" and "collateral damage" to the Labour government, but it was also "unfair". However Jacqui is not listening:
"I had a responsibility to make a decision that was right for the police, for the affordability of policing and for the taxpayer as a whole."
What Jacqui fails to mention is that her actions are in breach of the police pay award arbitration.

As for Peter Hain - he is getting it in the neck from all angles. Even Gordon Brown has left him swinging in the breeze, saying that Peter's fate is out of his hands. Labour MPs Peter Kilfoyle, John Spellar and Ian Gibson have made it clear that Hain should step down for the good of the party. To add to Hain's woes, it looks like the police could be called in to investigate his undeclared donations.

Rumour has it that Gordon Brown plans to have a cabinet reshuffle in February. If I were Gordon, I would ensure that Harriet Harman, Peter Hain and Jacqui Smith would still be standing when the music stopped and all the cabinet chairs were taken.

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